Iowa is one of the best states to live in. It's affordable, has a high quality of life, and has a great educational system. When it comes to education, how do you know what school to do for your family? How do you know if the elementary schools or the school district is good?
Looking at the largest school districts can give you insight into what makes a good school. For example, some school districts have a poor reputation but have a few exceptional schools that stand out. There are also very good school districts where most schools exceed educational standards because they have great teachers, small classroom sizes, and a supportive learning environment.
In this guide, we look at the largest school districts in Iowa and what makes them unique. It can help you and your family decide where the best schools are and if they are in your district.
Des Moines Independent Community School District
There are 328 school districts and 1,300 schools in Iowa. However, not all of them are made the same. While they all have the intention of helping students thrive, some lack the resources and teachers to do that. The largest school districts give parents more choices to see available schools.
Des Moines Independent Community School District is the largest school district in Iowa, with 59 schools and 31,000 students. It's ranked as the second most diverse school district in Iowa. One of the best elementary schools in this district is Cowles Elementary School.
Here are some of the schools that are in this school district.
- 54 elementary and middle schools
- 5 high schools
Cedar Rapids Community School District
Another school district with over thirty schools is Cedar Rapids Community School District, with 33 schools and 15,000 students. Some of the best elementary schools in this district include Viola Gibson Elementary School and Prairie Ridge Elementary School. Additionally, this school district is recognized as the eighth most diverse school district in Iowa.
Here's how the 33 schools are divided.
- 28 elementary and middle schools
- 5 high schools
Sioux City Community School District
Sioux City Community School District is in the heart of Sioux City, the place twice known as the All-American City. This school district has a student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1. As the third largest school district, there are 22 schools and 15,000 students. Some of the best schools in this district include Sunnyside Elementary School, Perry Creek Elementary School, and East Middle School.
These are the elementary and high schools in the Sioux City Community School District.
- 19 elementary and junior high schools
- 3 high schools
Iowa City Community School District
Iowa City Community School District is another large school district with 29 schools and 14,000 students. According to Niche.com, it's also among the most highly rated school districts. For instance, it's one of the best school districts for athletes and one of the best in general, ranking in the top ten. The student-to-teacher ratio in this district is 14:1.
Here is how the elementary and high schools are divided in this district.
- 21 elementary schools
- 3 junior high schools
- 3 high schools
Davenport Community School District
Davenport Community School District is also one of the largest school districts in Iowa, with 30 schools and 14,000 students. While this school district isn't ranked the highest, it is considered the third most diverse school district. It's ranked in the top 120 school districts to teach in.
Here is how the schools are divided between elementary and high school.
- 26 elementary and middle schools
- 4 high schools
Ankeny Community School District
Ankeny Community School District is next on the list of the largest school districts, with 17 schools and 12,000 students. This district is one of the best in Iowa. It was ranked fourth for best school districts for athletes. It was also ranked the second-best school district in Iowa. Additionally, it attracts some of the best teachers because it was ranked the fifth-best district for teachers.
Here are the elementary and high schools in this school district.
- 15 elementary schools
- 2 high schools
Waukee Community School District
The smallest of the largest school districts on this list is Waukee Community School District, with 16 schools and 12,000 students. This is also a top-notch school district that offers some of the best elementary schools. For example, Grant Ragan Elementary School and Eason Elementary School are some of the best elementary schools with the highest test scores in Iowa. The student-to-teacher ratio of Waukee Community School District is 15:1.
These are the schools that are part of this school district.
- 14 elementary schools
- 2 high schools
What District Should You Choose?
Finding the right district depends on where you live. Choosing the right school also depends on location and how far you can commute to send your child to school. It's also important to follow up with these schools to determine if there's space in them. Knowing more about these large school districts offers plenty of choices of where to send your kids to school.
You also have a better idea of some of the best schools in these districts. Ultimately, it gives you more choices and a better idea of how to decide where to send your kids to school.
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